Emtman back in actionSteve Emtman, the first pick overall...

PLAYS AND REPLAYS

October 03, 1994

Emtman back in action

Steve Emtman, the first pick overall in the 1992 draft, returned to the Indianapolis Colts' lineup yesterday for the first time since seriously injuring his right knee last season.

Playing mostly on third-down situations, Emtman had three tackles and one sack, as the Colts beat the Seattle Seahawks, 17-15.

"It was real exciting to be back out there making plays," Emtman said. "I wasn't expecting to make any plays today, really. I was just more or less trying to get the feel of the game back. It's a lot quicker out there than in practice."

Emtman didn't start, but came into the game on the Colts' third defensive play. He made an immediate impact, stopping Seattle's Chris Warren for a 5-yard loss on his first play.

"I was nervous until the first play was over," he said. "As soon as that first play was over, I was just playing football again like I was back in high school or junior high or whatever. Football is football at any level, that's the way I look at it."

Emtman tore two ligaments and a tendon in his right knee on Oct. 10, 1993, against the Dallas Cowboys and had surgery the next day. He underwent additional reconstructive surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament in January.

Emtman also missed the final seven games of his rookie season after tearing ligaments in his left knee.

A special day

How about those Tampa Bay Buccaneers' special teams?

Vernon Turner returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown in yesterday's 24-14 upset of the Detroit Lions. It was the first kick of any kind returned for a touchdown in Tampa Bay's 18-year history. It was the 1,320th punt by a Bucs opponent and the 705th punt the team had returned.

And the Bucs' special-teamers weren't done. When Rogerick Green later blocked Greg Montgomery's punt, it was Tampa Bay's first blocked punt in five seasons.

On the ground . . .

Detroit's Barry Sanders turned in his seventh 100-yard rushing day against the Buccaneers, gaining 166 yards on 20 carries.

Sanders set up a touchdown with an 85-yard run in the second quarter, the longest run of his career.

No matter how good Sanders does against the Bucs, though, it doesn't seem to help the Lions in Tampa. They have lost four of their past five games at Tampa Stadium.

. . . and through the air

New England's Drew Bledsoe (29 of 53, 334 yards) and Green Bay's Brett Favre (25 of 47, 295 yards) combined for 100 passes, the third most in NFL history. Miami and the New York Jets had 104 in 1987 and San Francisco and Atlanta had 102 in 1985.

Bledsoe moved into sixth place in career passing yards for the Patriots, with 4,245 yards in less than two seasons. He passed Mike Taliaferro, who passed for 3,920 yards from 1968 through 1970.

Despite Bledsoe's impressive numbers, the Patriots' streak of scoring in 28 straight quarters ended in their scoreless first half.

Ryan's record

The Cardinals' 1-3 start is nothing new for coach Buddy Ryan. In five seasons with Philadelphia, starting in 1986, Ryan's teams were 1-3, 1-3, 1-3, 2-2 and 1-3. The last three seasons, Ryan's teams went on to make the playoffs.

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